Beware email hoax
The RAA is advising motorists to ignore the latest email hoax doing the rounds, which warns against using cruise control in wet conditions.
The RAA has received a number of enquiries from members over the last fortnight, concerned about the email, which claims that in a situation where water on the road causes a car’s tyres to lose grip with the road surface and aquaplane the cruise control will trigger the car to accelerate.
RAA Technical Manager Mark Borlace, said the potential for this condition to exist in cruise control systems had been investigated, but the claims were unfounded.
“Cruise control is a device used to keep the speed of the vehicle constant, by measuring the speed of the wheels and feeding this information into the cruise control system that regulates the engine’s output,” Mr Borlace said.
“Should the car’s tyres break traction with the road, such as in an aquaplane situation, the increase in wheel speed would be sensed and the cruise control system would then reduce the amount of throttle and maintain the set speed.”
“Additionally, cruise control systems are deactivated as soon as the brake is applied. As braking is usually an automatic reaction in most emergency situations, the scenario of cruise control causing an increase in vehicle speed is highly unlikely.”
The RAA encourage drivers to refer their vehicle owner's manual to get a better understanding of safe operation of their car’s cruise control, and follow some basic driving guidelines.
“The safest way to drive is to ensure that under all driving conditions you can control the vehicle – that includes braking, cornering and accelerating – safely,” Mr Borlace said. “This also applies to using cruise control.”
“Wet roads can significantly affect the grip of the tyre and this in turn can make corrective actions by the driver much more difficult to judge. It’s up to the driver to assess the conditions of the road and adjust their vehicle’s speed to suit.”
Click here for more information about cruise control.